Did you know that less than 10% of prospective clients actually speak with a lawyer?
Here at CloudLex®, we usually like to advise you what to do (how to improve your law practice, attract potential law firm clients, grow your business, etc.), but today we’re focused on telling you what NOT to do. That’s right—the gloves are coming off…at least in regards to the legal intake process. The reason for this “tough love” is that we’ve noticed that a lot of you are making the same, potentially harmful and easily correctable, legal client intake mistakes…and we’d like to help you course-correct before it’s too late. After all, you can have the best client communication management software and work in the nicest office building in town, but without a working client intake process, you won’t have any clients to work for.
Here are the top five mistakes that personal injury firms are making in the legal intake process and how your firm can avoid them:
1. Stop using paper client intake process at your law firm
If you’re still using mounds of paper for law firm document management or client intake, you’re not only hurting the environment, your organization skills, and your ability to find client information—you’re also hurting your reputation. Your clients can book a month-long trip to Madagascar on their phone, so they expect, at least, this level of modernity from their law firm. In this day and age, handing your prospects a pen and paper for intake is akin to handing them a chisel so they can carve their info into a rock—you appear ancient!
What to do instead: Allow your potential clients to fill out online client intake forms at their convenience—at home, at work, on the toilet…it’s up to them. This will allow you to bolster your reputation as a modern PI firm and maximize efficiency in your meetings with prospects.
2.Stop using “one-size-fits-all” intake management systems
You wouldn’t plan the same night out for your mother as you would for romantic interest—after all, they are very different nights out—so why are you using the same generic intake “solution” for every prospect that walks in your door? Personal injury clients are different than breach of contract clients and medical malpractice clients are different than car accident ones…you can’t just ask every prospect the same questions or you’ll risk missing vital information and, as a result, look very unprofessional.
What to do instead: Get an intake management solution that is specifically made for personal injury lawyers; one that understands the complexities of the personal injury practice area and can handle the nuances of its many sub-specialties. That way you’ll have all the info you need, when you need it…and without having to bother your clients a million times to get it.
3. Use client intake software to remind to follow up
Failing to follow through with prospects after an initial meeting is like forgetting to text someone after a great first date—it doesn’t bode well for your future relationship (or lack thereof). It’s essential to follow up with prospects promptly so you can gather time-sensitive information, make sure prospects feel comfortable, and enable you (and them) to make an informed decision on whether you’re a good fit for each other.
What to do instead: You should appoint a dedicated intake manager whose sole purpose is to oversee your intake process. But regardless of who is in charge, you must equip them with the right intake tools and software to succeed (and that definitely shouldn’t be some antiquated legal matter management system). Take advantage of a cloud-based intake software that can delegate intake tasks to your intake team with law firm task management software automatically remind you to follow up with prospects, and keep everyone on the same page—that way; you can get going quickly and efficiently, instead of pushing clients to your competition faster.
4. Stop using piecemeal case management software
You understand the importance of collaboration between team members, so why is it ok for your different software solutions to be out of sync? You shouldn’t be using one your matter management software, an additional intake software, a separate calendar program, etc.—this leads to misinformation, prospects falling through the cracks, and lots of duplicative work for you and your colleagues.
What to do instead: You need a single unified platform that takes care of all your personal injury needs, integrates with your favorite outside programs, and automatically updates case/intake info in all the right places—so you can get rid of inefficiencies in your intake process and be more informed when you’re interacting with prospects.
5. Stop ignoring the data
The definition of intake insanity is doing the same marketing campaigns, using the same tools, and partaking in the same processes repeatedly while expecting different conversion rates, satisfied clients, and increased profits. In other words, you can’t just rest on your intake laurels; you need to be constantly evaluating (and re-evaluating) your intake efforts (e.g., marketing campaigns) so you can figure out which of your efforts are leading to promising leads.
What to do instead: Use intake management software that can provide you with detailed reports on your key performance indicators and alert you to which of your marketing campaigns are working (or not working), so you can get the most out of your intake and save time, energy, and cash.
Speaking of minimal effort, all you need to do to drastically improve your firm’s intake and correct the mistakes listed above (and more) is CloudLex. CloudLex is a next-gen cloud-based personal injury case management software designed to take care of all your firm’s needs (including intake). Sign up for a free demo and get ready to increase your intake.